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[Bibliotheca Buddhica XXIV:] Indices Verborum Sanscrit-Tibetan and Tibetan-Sanscrit to the Nyāyabindu of Dharmakīrti and the Nyāyabinduṭikā of Dharmottara / Compiled by E. Obermiller with a preface by Th. Stcherbatsky; from the edition of the Sanscrit and Tibetan texts by Th. Stcherbatsky. I. Sanscrit-Tibetan Index. Leningrad, USSR Academy of Sciences, 1927.


The importance of Tibetan translations for the right interpretation of ancient Buddhist texts is generally admitted. These translations were always prepared by a commitee composed of competent Indian pandits and a learned Tibetan translator (lotsava). The greatest care was bestowed upon the right rendering of the original. Special expeditions were sent out to India for the search of old and trustworthy Manuscripts, translations were then corrected by the learned commitee according to the new finds. Needless to say that both the Indian pandits and the Tibetan lotsavas were profoundly versed in all the technical difficulties of Sanskrit grammar, poetics, philosophy and other mediaeval Indian Sciences. For the sake of uniformity bilingual dictionaries were prepared at an early date. The terminology established by them had been authorized by the Tibetan government and severe punishments were proclaimed against trespassers to the renderings enforced by state law.

Under these conditions the Tibetan translations afford invaluable assistance for establishing the text of every ancient Buddhist work of which insufficient or corrupt Manuscripts are alone available.

The Nyāyabindu of Dharmakīrti and its commentary the Nyāyabinduţīkā of Dharmottara are, until now, the only discovered original remnants of what once had been an enormous Buddhist activity in the field of Logic. These works have therefore an exceptional importance, not alone for the study of Buddhist philosophy, but for the study of Brahmanical philosophy, as well, since during a very long period of mediaeval Indian history the Buddhists were the undisputed masters in the field of Logic and Epistemology. Tibet, Mongolia, China and Japan have borrowed their knowledge of Logic from India. The old Chinese speculations about logical questions the existence of which before Confucius has been recently discovered by Prof. Hu-shi cannot be taken into account, since they were merged into oblivion in their own country and apparently left no trace in ancient Chinese philosophy. The later original Chinese contributions in the domain of Logic are entirely built up upon a foundation established by the imported Indian system of Dignāga. This system thus occupies in the Eastern part of humanity just the same position as the system of Aristoteles holds in its Western part. The correct understanding and the establishing of a reliable text of the only Sanskrit works where this system is represented to us directly becomes thus one of the fundamental tasks for the History of Eastern Civilization.

The test published by Prof. P. Peterson in 1889 on the basis of two old Manuscripts discovered by him did not prove sufficiently reliable to allow a clear comprehension in many important passages. The task of an English translation attempted by the learned editor himself and after him by the late Prof. С Bendall had to be given up for want of a sufficiently reliable text. Additional great help was then derived from the Tibetan translations. Accordingly an edition of the Tibetan texts and a new edition of the Sanscrit original were begun by me in this series and at the same time a translation (in Russian) and an analysis of the system were published. The work had been interrupted by the great war and the Russian revolution and civil war. It is now resumed and will contain the following issues:

1) Critical notes and corrections to both the Tibetan and Sanskrit texts (in the press).
2) A complete Index of words, Sanskrit-Tibetan compiled by E. E. Obermiller.
3) Ditto, Tibetan-Sanskrit, by the same.
4) An English translation with copious explanatory notes by myself (now in the press).
5) An analysis of the Logical and Epistemological system of Dignāga by myself.
I now present to the interested public the Index of words Sanskrit-Tibetan. It has been compiled by my pupil E. Obermiller and I may be allowed to express the hope that the painstaking work of its compilation and carrying through the press will meet with the sympathetic appreciation of all scholars interested in this department of knowledge. The Index aims at completeness, even such particles as ca or api have not been neglected. This should not be taxed as luxury. In the laconic style of scientific Sanskrit they are important and differently translated by a number of Tibetan particles. All the tenses and derivatives of verbal roots are indicated separately and placed under the corresponding root whether simple or accompanied by a prefix. The order of the forms is then the following one,

1) present indicative, pmasmai-pada and ātmane-pada,
2) » » passive,
3) imperfect,
4) present potential, parasm. and ātmanep.
5) » » passive,
6) imperative,
7) infinitive,
8) gerunds,
9) present participle, parasmp., ātmanep. or passive,
10) passive present participle and its abstract noun,
11) » past » » » » »
12) derivative nouns.
When a Sanskrit verbal root is rendered by several Tibetan equivalents, the latter are marked by Arabic figures. If a word has quite different meanings it is treated as an independent word and each meaning is entered separately. Tibetan equivalents which have undergone correction appear in their corrected form and are marked by «cf. emend.» referring to the list of corrections to the Tib. text. The Sanskrit words which have undergone correction are entered in their improved form, for which the list of corrections which will be appended to the critical notes of the edition of the original text should be consulted. Words wanting in the Sanskrit text, the existence of which is made probable by the Tibetan translation are not entered in this Index, but will find their place in the Tibetan-Sanskrit Index.

Th. Stcherbatsky


The entire volume


Buddhist logic
Buddhist philosophy
Sanskrit texts
Tibetan texts

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